tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN January 7, 2015 1:00am-3:01am EST
elements. my name isó\÷ stephanie. i am a senior fellow at the international program here at csis. we were joking earlier that every time we have a homeland security-related event, we have a weather event that same day. so i'm both appalled and pleased to know that our track record is still stellar. but thank you all for braving the elements. if i could ask you to make sure your electronic devices are set to silent or stun, i would appreciate it, and we'll go ahead and get the session started. as you know, u.s. citizens have long made border security a priority. the new 2014 congress promises to continue the long-going public debate on security reforms. these reforms will take place in both policy shifts and practical changes in program
implementation. here at csis, we are pleased to be part of that discussion working with congress the executive branch industry and the entire community of stakeholders to unpack the issues surrounding border security and highlighting key focus areas for action. during our conversations, i have been especially impressed with the vision and real thought leadership coming from ourne!qñ border patrol colleagues. these men and women have experienced firsthand the ever evolving security environment that liza longes along our nation's borders, covering 5 to 600 miles of canadian borders. these are fast ever-changing to threats of adaptation and risk. we have grown sophisticated which now have the ability to converge. it's also worked hard to develop quantifiable and qualitative metrics that track progress
toward desired outcomes instead of simply tracking investments. today we will hear from two outstanding public servants on the topic of the border patrol's history, risk-based strategy and methodology for measuring success. first off will be u.s. border patrol chief mike fisher who is responsible for planning organizing coordinating and directing enforcement efforts designed to secure our nation's borders. chief fisher entered on duty with the u.s. border patrol in june 1997 and has held a number of operational and leadership posts from arizona to texas to michigan, and, of course here in washington, d.c. he was named acting chief of the border patrol in january 2010 and assumed his current position in may of that year. we at csis count him as a real friend in our homeland security and terrorism program and as a real thought leader for the nation's security. we'll hear from assistant chief robert schroder who is the author of three articles and for which there are hard copies down
at the registration table. one of the articles focuses on theer the border officials and one on risk indicators. currently he is a legislator on capitol hill where his colleagues certainly benefit from his years of experience. he has served on the southwest border conducting search task operations boat search operations southbound operations, countersmuggling operations and the k-9 handler team. he's also commanded two forward-operating bases near the international border along the arizona-new mexico state line. after our two guests speak, i plan to ask a few questions and then turn to the audience for questions and answer. we will end promptly at 11:00 so you can enjoy the snowy wonderland that is d.c. mr. fisher, thank you for sharing your thoughts today and i look forward to hearing your
speech. >> thank you stephanie and to dr. hemry, and everybody at csis, this is indeed a unique opportunity for me. but first and foremost, to $ kyou. your dedication admission and the fact you are actually here given this weather does wonders for my heart so thank you very much. may of 2010. so i get a call to go down to the commissioner's office. at that time that was commissioner parseon. he calls me into the office and when you're new, getting a call to the commissioner's office is probably not a good thing to do. i go into his office. i figure this is it they made a mistake, i'm not the guy, right? he walks up and he has in his hand this badge. and he's pinning it on me, and he when i sayispers to me i expect you to take the border patrol to the
next level. and your expressions were about the same as mine. i didn't know what to say other than, yes, sir. and then i was immediately dismissed. and i walked out and a couple things struck me at that point. one, i had no idea what i just committed to and committed the organization to, and i had a very short turnaround to figure it out. so i did what perhaps many of you would do, is gather your smart staff that are more zbf1 o capable and a lot more intelligent than you are and try to figure this out. we had a very quick meeting. after about 30 minutes, three things were apparent to all of us, which is very rare for border patrol agencies to come to a consensus on just about anything. we can't figure out most of the time to figure out where to eat. it takes us 15 minutes to hash that out. here's the three things. one, it was clear to us that the environment in which we operated had changed. number two, our capabilities as an organization had changed as well. and three equally important, was there was this convergence
on transnational criminal organizations and terrorism. and we need to figure out how we were going to prepare the organization and prepare our defenses on the border against these emergeing threats. that's what started this strategic shift. so as many of you probably saw, we published the strategy in the spring of 2012 and moved quickly to implementation. one of the criticisms from gao at the time was the border patrol doesn't have a timeline for implementation, they don't have a plan for implementation. what was happening was changing our operations as we were developing the strategy. we were going to weigh it as a procedure or a process but we wanted to move forward very quickly, and as we were learning about our strategic shift, we were making operational adjustments on the fly. we did that throughout. we didn't stop and have an 1450i68 18-month planning session to do
another 18 months of implementation. it was about that time in 2013, towards the end of 2013 we felt that we were off to what we thought at the time was a good start of what we thought this strategy was going to look like. we had set, at least in our minds, the metrics that we believed made sense to us beyond the traditional apprehensions, for instance, about how we were going to assess the extent to which we thought we were successful in this endeavor. so our baseline numbers were gathering in 2013 kind of it taken a pause. whole process, from 2010 to 2013, and as it turns out, into '14, really hadn't changed. i still get the question chief, is the border secure or not? we look at each other as if we all understand what that means. as we were looking to understand members on the hill and people in the department and what they thought the end state should look like we couldn't wait. so as we were quickly devising
the strategy of implementation we came up with it. i'm just suggesting we had to set an end state and some objectives to get this thing started. as some of you may have heard, if you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there. and so in 2013, it also occurred to me that we have not done a very good job(0ú articulating the narrative about what we just did. to have those discussions. and so at that time i had the opportunity on staff chief robert schroder i had read some of his work before he happened to be assigned to headquarters, and i gave him very little instruction. i said robert, i've read some of the stuff you've published and i have a favor to ask. by the way, he wasn't going to be pulled from his other assignments, so don't let the stuff you're supposed to do slip, but what i need you to do is tell our story. and he said, okay. he said, who is the audience? i'll make it easy.
it's for everybody. it's for internal consumption within the first line supervisors to the border patrol agents that are just graduating from the academy to the chief patrol agents that are out there in the largest sectors that we have. it's for the people on the hill. it's for anybody that's interested in understanding what we're doing. he kind of gave me a stare. he said that'sa%#dç very difficult to do. i said, by the way, we want it short. so that's the old mark twain chief, i would have made this longer but i didn't have enough time, right? so he had a very somewhat trun truncated schedule, to come up with things he had indicated and try to tell our story. it doesn't suggest in that article anywhere that the border is more secure than it's ever been, right? what it is is to start a discussion, perhaps a different narrative than we've had in the past about what it means to secure the border. it's from our perspective and it's told by robert and at this point i would like to have him explain how he went about doing
this. robert? >> chief, thanks for the introduction. thank you all for coming. i appreciate you braving the weather, especially the congressional staff that made it today. i know this is one of the first days and one of the busiest days for you in the 114th congress. i appreciate your time. the chief said we had to tell our story. we had to tell why we changed how we changed and how we ultimately measured that over a period of time. i'm prepared to read for you. it includes a series of three articles, a review of border patrol long journey and gradual evolution to our current risk-based strategy and to illustrate why a new strategy was necessary. they were written for both internal and external audiences as the chief has pointed out. everyone. these articles touched on numerous events and relevance to
our evolution but significant things have changed in the border patrol's rich history which began with the release of the 2014 border patrol plan officially began. as you noted, it really began before that, the thought process and the planning. historically, activity levels coupled with the ever-increasing deployment of resources guided our deployment and planning activity. today resource deployment planning activities are guided by a much more realistic view of border security and border security environment, one in which there is a greater concentration on intelligence against individuals and networks responsible for the crime in a given area. instead of just reactively plugging holes into the border we started looking at ways to work with inter-agency partners to comebat the risk to border security.
while the 2014 plan was to effectively transition tieo a+ more comprehensive planning approach, here is a statement on homeland security which paved the way for creation and adaptation of the new approach. it was a tipping point of sorts. and throughout our history i'm sure we'll look back>ç] at thal2t point as a point which has started to change for us. during the hearing, border patrol leaders testified that u.s. border patrol spent $3.5 billion on border security for the force of entry alone. to give you a perspective of what that would have looked like under a resource-based strategy that means we would have needed 77,000 border patrol agents or a budget in excess of $100 billion. today we have a little over $120 billion. the border patrol was either
once severely underfunded or they needed a better way to communicate. i knew that the 3% number we reported didn't relay the good work that the border patrol agents were doing for the american people. the three articles we discuss here today should convey some of what was happening inside the border. each cover a different segment of the border patrol's history. writing on them i wanted to draw on real examples that illustrated not only what we were doing not only made sense but it worked in the past in public and private industries. the first article in the series washff information on the border patrol's simple and humble beginnings and why it was inevitable given the complexity of the border environment. the border patrol in 1995, and later in 2004, was the step in the right direction.
lessons learned from these strategies included a realization that in order to truly address the complexityies of border security, the border had toh examine current threats and proactively address them. within the first article, lessons learned in the military and by nasa when designing and developing and deploying the international space station were examined to draw parallels between critical elements of our risk-based strategy and risk management approaches taken by other government agencies. the second article in thetvi series, the risk-based strategy was written to show how the u.s. border patrol made that shift, specifically how they leveraged the department of defense, intelligence community and other inter-agency partners to develop planning tools to effectively preliminary meant this strategy. the first of these tools was a threat to targets and operational assessment. this was designed to address the
capabilities of both the adversary and our own capabilities. they help identify aeep6z potential action to mitigate those gaps. the intelligence operation was heavily borrowed from the joint publication. it also addresses the course of action adversaries are likely to take in the future. they were heavily influenced by the department of defense. and finally, bp 3 was developed to help leaders identify objectives and specific problems within their areas of responsibility and to develop appropriate courses of action to achieve those goals. historically border patrol operations were predominantly based on activity levels and tactical intelligence garnered from arrest. we were plugging holes in fences. if it was busy we put agents there. the border patrol helped
planners conduct a more thorough office and conduct a more practical approach to operations. the third article in the series measuring security, answers the question as to how we know we're winning, if, indeed, we are winning and measuring progress toward that end. in the end a secure border is one of low risk. the border patrol considers an area to have low risk when we have the confidence in our situational awareness and understanding of imminent and emergent threats and competence in our abilities to address those threats. while we had a way to generally define low risk, we still needed a way to measure a progress toward that end. we needed a way to measure outcomes of operations and cam plain plans. it wouldn't be on the specific assets seized and detained. recoó/!#%ng the metric is to be taken individually can prove success. we developed a :q preliminary set of risk indicators to analyze elements of risk along our border and evaluate the progress
we are making insofqñ relation to our bills. if you asked a border patrol agent if we were winning, he would say, absolutely, and he would point to a number of arrests and seizures to show you that. regardless whether they went up or down, we were winning. we had no other way to explain it. this isn't to suggest we weren't seceding intermission. border patrol had to have consistent and reliable data. not simply data on what we were catching, we also479jñ had to report data on what we were not catching and the unknown. today the border patrol does not describe the borders as controlled or uncontrolled. instead it uses a variety of indicators, capability assessments, commander judgment to assign areas of risk category
of high, medium and low. the border patrol also evaluates these risks to ensure they are based on current risk. in closing, i will leave you with a few thoughts here that became evident as we wrote these articles and i spoke with dozens of agents representing thousands of years of border patrol experience. border security is not an end state to be achieved and revisited every five or ten years. rather, it's a constant battle we fight every day and one609% which we must be vigorously engaged. there is also no panacea for border security. no silver bullet is out x96ñthere. in his description says it best. there is no solution, there is no better or worse, there is only a system. that's what border security is a continuous struggle. resources will be needed to secure the national border. however, using a risk-based view of border security and continues to work with